A new year is offering new hope and since prices have already dropped a considerable amount London is seeing new would-be buyers coming out of the woodwork.

Prices have now fallen by a minimum of 20% in London, says the latest report from Knight Frank, and the estate agent expects prices to fall a further 10% this year. Vendors in the capital are expected to accept that the power is with the buyers and as prices continue to edge down the number of properties on the market is expected to increase.

This in turn should lead to the market moving more in 2009, predicts the report: ‘This new climate of vendor realism should lead to an increase in buyer interest and price falls should begin to level out by the end of 2009, although 2010 is likely to see prices move sideways at beast,’ Knight Frank says.

Prime London is unlikely to see activity increasing at it has suffered a very recent slowdown, much later than most London markets but as owners of £10m+ properties rarely need to make a forced sale.  There are not many properties on the market in this bracket and so prices will be difficult to assess in coming months.

In the prime market, European buyers are largely concerned that there is only a weak window of opportunity before the Euro weakens later this year, and are therefore in a hurry to snap up a bargain. Many Knight Frank offices have therefore reported increased interest from foreign buyers. ‘The rise in the number of viewings is most apparent in the super-prime ‘core’ of Mayfair, Belgravia and Knightsbridge,’ says the report, ‘where buyers are interested in the opportunity of buying a true trophy property at a price that would have been unimaginably cheap just a year ago.’

Property markets to watch in London as investors are buying into future growth areas:

* Marylebone
* Fitzrovia
* Bloomsbury
* Bayswater
* South Bank

* More news on the property market and house prices